Sunday, July 22, 2012

Superman's Kryptonite is Making a Decision

Superman's Kryptonite is Making a Decision
Baltimore July 22, 2012

Dwight Howard seems destined to start the 2012-2013 NBA Season in Orlando, wearing the only jersey he's ever worn and that is no one's fault but his own. The man known as "Superman" much to the she-grin of Shaq the original NBA Superman, seems to have met his Kryptonite. No it's not his atrocious free throw shooting, his slow developing post game nor his inability to take the Magic past the Celtics styling defense or Miami's high powered offense. Howard's Achilles heal is simply a decision, rather his inability to make one. 

Howard has no one to blame for his being stuck in NBA trade rumor purgatory but himself. Howard created his real life version of the movie "Groundhog Day" himself. Throughout this almost two year process Superman has waffled more than all the Republican presidential candidates combined. It all started of course with his initial trade demand during the lockout lengthened off-season. The NBA's Clark Kent and the Magic seemed to had patched things over by the All Star Break when Howard decided to opt into the last year of his contract. 

In reality however, that was far from the truth. By mid April word had spread that Howard asked that the Magic fire head coach Stan Van Gundy or else. Howard was soon shutdown for the rest of the season due to back problems; the season ended and the Magic cleaned house by firing Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Howard then demanded again that he be traded confusing many in the world of sports to why he would opt in and then demand to be shipped out of Disneyland. 

As the off-season began it looked as if Howard's wish would be granted as it seemed that a three team trade sending Howard to the Brooklyn Nets was eminent. First the Bobcats were interested in being the third party, then the Cavs and finally the Rockets. Though the trigger was reported to have been close to being pulled several times, it wasn't.  Close, but no cigar for Howard.

The Lakers having just acquired Steve Nash swooped into the rumor brigade this week but met the same fate as the Nets; no trade. Some say the deals won't go through because Howard is reluctant to sign an extension anywhere but in Brooklyn. Others say the Magic are in no rush to trade Howard right away and are content to ride out the remainder of the off-season and maybe even the upcoming season. I for one, hope this is true and that the Magic are not bluffing about bringing him back to start the season.

Howard was once a beloved figure not only in Orlando but throughout the basketball world thrusting to super stardom as a result of his all star weekend performances. His seemingly childish behavior during this ordeal has surely changed that. If Howard returns in his normal #12 Magic jersey to start the season he will not be seen as Superman but Lex Luthor and rightfully so. 

Sports fans and followers across the world ridiculed and continue to ridicule LeBron James for "The Decision." Well, at least LeBron made a decision albeit in the most self centered and tasteless of ways. Howard's flip flopping and inability to make a decision reeks more of the 'all about me the superstar' mindset that "The Decision" brought up that is despised by golden era NBA fans.

No matter where he ultimately ends up Howard can forget about the days where he was the league's poster child gentle giant for the near future. The man known as D12 will be booed night in and night out throughout the country including his home arena if that happens to be Orlando. Sports journalist will criticize his every step. The superhero has indeed become the villain and his fall from grace is totally self imposed. The decision to demand a trade, retract that demand, opt into the final year of contract only to demand a trade again was Howard and Howard's alone. 

In time Howard can work his way back into the good graces of the NBA world much like LeBron James has after repenting for "The Decision." But for now, I suggest that he seeks advice from LBJ on rebuilding one's image starting with hiring his publicist. 

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